Tuesday, January 1, 2008
Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?
Not the handsome, smooth talking Sidney Poitier. Nope. Think middle-aged Mexican Divorcee. Second Edition is off to Steel Town to meet the parents and frankly, dear reader, my purple suede boots are shaking, which makes me feel foolish at this age. Ah, but that’s the rub. Age. The Ranger’s parents are only 10 years older than I am. We probably suffer the same stiff joints, the same bowel troubles and can swap tales of making it to second base in the back seat of a Camaro while tuning in Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young.
And here’s the other stickler. The fuzzy truth. The Ranger is tight with his family and tells them everything in twice-weekly updates. Clearly, he’s young and hasn’t yet discovered that parents are cunning and shape shifting when they aren’t self-sacrificing and encouraging. Yup, he likes his parents as well as loves them. Bottom line…they’ve heard a year’s worth of truths including:
• The Ranger and Second Edition met in a fishing bar. After slamming a couple pints, we headed into the woods to “watch the sunset” from a lighthouse famous for whale watching. This girl from the Southwest froze her ass off, but yes, whales appeared as promised. And so did some puckered lips.
• I lied about my age. Hey, I was passing through town, relocating to Seattle. None of his business. And what’s ten years, give or take, in the cosmic sense. I feel 34.
• I lied about having been married for 10 years. Actually, more an act of omission. Again, I figured I’d never see the guy again. It just didn’t come up.
• I lied about having spent the past 15 years in advertising, lying professionally. That sounded so pedestrian. Instead, I called myself a writer because everyone knows a writer is tragically romantic, witty, knows how to hold her liquor and shows little discretion when it comes say…diving into the forest with a complete stranger/possible hillside strangler.
• When the silver bullet finally pulled back onto Highway 101, two days after those first pints, I wrote him off as a sweet and charming drive-by and continued north only to turn back ‘round three weeks later with a fat suitcase and silly grin in tow.
I’m sure they’ll love me.
Besides, a lot has changed in a year. Here I am happily settled amongst fishmongers and brewers, paper mill workers and crabbers. A kind of Espanola-by-the-Sea. No Jimmy Choos. No French Laundry. No spa treatments. Peacefully unemployed.
Now it’s time to pay the piper. Own up. Step up. Smile and play nice. Packing for Steel Town, the land of Miller Light and Pigs in a Blanket, face-painting football fans and iron handshakes. What DO I wear?